MP High Court Seeks Status Of Tigress Sundari In Odisha Forest

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Bhubaneswar: The Madhya Pradesh High Court has directed the Odisha government to submit a report on the health of Tigress Sundari that has been languishing inside the enclosure in Raigoda in the core area of the Satkosia sanctuary in Angul district.

The court, in response to a petition filed by the Red Lynx Confederation, an NGO, has directed the Odisha Forest Department to personally appear in the next week and produce a detailed report on the condition of Sundari.

Field Director of Satkosia Tiger Reserve, Pradip Raj Karate said that while the Chief Wildlife Warden of Odisha has been made one of the parties in the PIL, the state government has authorised the DFO of Satkosia to attend the hearing on its behalf next week.

Maintaining that the health and behaviour of Sundari are normal, Karate said that the tigress is being constantly monitored by the forest personnel.

Referring to the shifting of the Tigress to its original habitat in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, he said though the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and the Odisha government have asked the MP government to take back the tigress, the latter has remained unresponsive. A team from NTCA had recently visited Satkosia Tiger Reserve to examine the health the behaviour of the tigress.

Four months after release into the wild, Mahavir was caught in a snare and died while Sundari turned hostile and killed two persons even before venturing deep into the forest. Finally, it was tranquilised in November 2018 and put in the enclosure at Raigoda.

It is worthwhile to mention that Sundari was brought from Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve and a three-year-old tiger, Mahavir, was brought from Kanha Tiger Reserve of Madhya Pradesh in June 2018 as part of an inter-state tiger translocation project.

The Forest Department, however, was forced to relocate Sundari into a special rehabilitation enclosure on November 6 after the death of two persons and a bullock at Baghamunda and Tainsi villages inside the reserve area, purportedly after being attacked by the tigress, sparked protests. Since then, the tigress has been kept inside the enclosure.

Mahavir, who was released into Satkosia Tiger Reserve on July 7 after being kept in an enclosure for around two weeks, was found dead in the core area of the forest on November 15.

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